My partner recently sent out a neat article:
11 Business Lessons From The Battlefield
As I read through the lessons I naturally began asking myself “Do I do that?”, “How am I on that one?”, and “I wonder how my managers would rate me on that one.” So to make things a bit easier, I went ahead and turned the 11 lessons into 44 more specific questions. Here you go:
Eleven Lessons Become Forty Four Questions
- Do I genuinely respect the people who work for me?
- Do I help my employees reach their career goals in tangible ways?
- Am I more interested in what is best for my employees or what is best for me or the company?
- Do I conduct myself in a sober, professional way?
- Do I make employees feel degraded or humiliated?
- Do I provide relevant, positive reinforcement?
- Do I criticize more than I compliment?
- Do my employees know who I believe the star performers are?
- Do I actively listen to people?
- Do I allow employees to choose their own path much of the time?
- Do I overrule my employees plan too frequently or without giving them a chance?
- Do I bend or give in on nonessential issues or questions?
- Do my employees believe I can distinguish between essential and nonessential?
- Do I seek clarity on an issue before correcting or reprimanding?
- Do I know when and how to give an order?
- Am I timid about giving orders?
- Am I condescending when giving orders?
- Am I direct about what needs to happen when giving orders?
- Do I make eye contact when giving orders?
- Do I remain cool and firm, without yelling, when giving orders?
- Am I passive aggressive when giving orders?
- Do I validate grievances when giving orders?
- Do I explain why an order is being given?
- Am I afraid to insist on a standard?
- Am I afraid to tell people what to do?
- Am I afraid to demand quality?
- Am I a “yeller” or “nice guy freakout yeller”?
- Am I meek? In the “poor leader” way or the “inherit the earth” way?
- Do I do an appropriate level of inspection of work?
- Do I care about output and results?
- Do I allow employees to become lazy and complacent?
- Do I care about the unglamorous tasks?
- Do I see myself as above the unglamorous tasks?
- Am I clear about expectations?
- When giving a task, am I clear about what the task is, who has to do it, and by when or clear that my employee needs to identify the task, assign it, and establish a due date with his/her team?
- Do I believe everyone gives a crap about my credentials, or should?
- Do I give a crap about my credentials?
- Have I established a reputation for competence, common sense, and listening?
- Once a path is established, do I balance small, firm corrections with steady, disciplined execution?
- Do I have a tendency to waffle on initiatives or change direction frequently?
- Do my employees have a clear understanding of the paths/initiatives I believe are important?
- Do I address problems in a clear, timely manner?
- Do I have a tendency to side step problems and let them fester?
- And lastly, if I sent these questions to my managers as a survey, would I do anything tangible with the responses?
If you’re interested in more leadership insight from a military perspective, here is a link to the widely distributed 18 Lessons in Leadership by General Colin Powell.
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